Wiley College
Historically Black College



Early History

According to a letter in the Wiley College Historical Marker File,

"The Rev. Mr. Davis, who remained in office nine years, supervised the construction of the first brick building, known later as North College, which was financed largely through the sale of "brick certificates" at five cents per brick. This building was razed in 1967 to make room for the new library. In the cornerstone were found archives which described the steps leading to its (North College's) construction."
Among the papers found was a history of the first five years at Wiley written by the second president, The Rev. Mr. Davis.

Wiley University, Marshall, Harrison Co.Texas
November, 9, 1878
Wiley University was established by The Freedmen's Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the year eighteen hundred and seventy three1873. It was first located about one and a half South-west of the Court House and the Public Square of the City. The farm known as the Old Blonch(Blanch) place consisting of one hundred and ninety one (191) acres, was purchased for the school at a cost of five thousand dollars ($5,000). It was brought with the expectation of selling most of again in smaller lots at such an advance in price as would insure some funds for the school, reserving sufficient for school location. Rev R. S. Rust, D. D. was at that time the authorized agent of the F. A. Society, holding the office of Corresponding Secretary, Bishop Randolph S. Foster being President of the Society. The matter of buying, and locating the school was entrusted to Rev. W. G. Milloy of the Texas Conference. Rev. F. C. Moore of the Texas Conference was appointed first President of the School. The School was put in running operation Feb. 1873 in the dwelling, a large building on the place when purchased. This although large was not adapted for school purposes,. And as the school increased in numbers it was removed to an out building, more roomy, but insufficient for the school, and from thence to a 40x40 frame building, erected under the supervision on the Principal, Rev. F. C. Moore. The school began very small, two being the whole number of pupils that were placed on the Rolls at the beginning. The School however increased rapidly in numbers until the labor of three teachers was required. The whole number of pupils for the year, (not the average)soon reached two hundred and fifty (250). Rev. F. C. Moore and wife and their colaborers labored very hard to make the school a success, and reaped very good results.Although the school began with a very low grade of scholarship, or almost no scholarship, a very respectable scholarship has been attained by some of the pupils. A few of the most advanced are nearly ready for the Preparatory Course of the College proper. A University it is called. More properly speaking it aspires to be an University. Rev. F. C. Moore served about three years, when its present Principal. W. H. Davis was appointed. After his appointment the school was continue as before until the winter of 1877 its was resolved upon by the Officers of the F. A. Society to change the location of the school to it present location. A great many of blunders have been made all along, enough it seemily to ruin the cause, but somehow or other the Lord has overuled all (so it seems to us) and we have yet a good prospect for a great school. Friends have been raised up where we hardly dared hoped for them. Undisturbed peace and growth has attended the Institution. Some plans were entertained in the early history of the school that violence would be used, to root out the work, but such had not been the case. Wiley University has a large circle of friends, and though many of these are poor yet the work goes on. And with the new impetus that better accomodations with better location will give we can hardly fail to witness a great increase in the efficiency and success of the Institution. In reference to mistakes that have been made I will incriminate no one but myself. I have made my share of them.

postcard courtesy rootsweb.com